Free Heart Surgery for Jamaican Mom

| 15/10/2014

(CNS): The Shetty hospital in East End has repaired a heart valve in a Jamaican woman during a complex surgery which was offered free of charge. Officials said that Lesha Matthews (25) was diagnosed with a heart condition as a child. For the last six years her condition has worsened, doctors from the hospital said, as a result of a leaking heart valve and she was finding day to day tasks increasingly difficult. Financial constraints had prevented the young mother, who has a two year old child, from getting the treatment she urgently needed. Her cardiologist in Kingston, Dr William Foster had reached out to doctors and clinics in the United States but to no avail. 

"The young woman was suffering, and none of the clinics on the US mainland contacted by her doctor was able to perform the procedure at no cost to the patient. Something needed to be done, so we stepped in," reported Shomari Scott, marketing director at Health City Cayman Islands, the new state of the art facility established by Indian heart surgeon Dr Devi Shetty.

When Dr Binoy Chattuparambil, Senior Consultant, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, at the East End hospital got to hear about Matthews he examined her health records and invited her to Health City for the surgery.

Dr Foster arranged transportation and Cayman Airways donated the airline ticket. When she arrived in Cayman Dr. Binoy said the patient was undernourished and frail because of her longstanding heart disease.

"One of the main valvesin her heart was leaking severely and the pumping ability of the heart was compromised…. it was decided to take her up for surgery at the earliest."

The heart expert said his team decided on a more complicated operation to avoid the problem of the young woman being dependent on medication for the rest of her life.

"The plan was to repair the valve and not to replace it – even though repair is more technically challenging than replacing the valve – as replacing the valve with an artificial valve will make her dependent on blood-thinning medications for the rest of her life, with its associated complications."

The procedure took three and half hours, the hospital said in a release about the free surgery.

"She was sitting on a chair the same evening sipping juice," Dr Binoy said. "She will be on a few medications for three months and after that she will be free from all medications. The prognosis for a healthy, normal life is a very good one," the surgeon said adding that Matthews has now returned to Jamaica. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I assume this means local people in need of surgery will get it free of charge too, right?

    (I didn't think so)

    • anonymous says:

      On a tangental matter, I have been checking all day to see if the Compass would remove this lady's picture from a story on interns at Health City.  Its caption clearly shows that the Compass intended it to be another photograph.  Has no one at the Compass noticed this all day?  

      While I don't want to start a Compass bashing exercise, I really wonder about Compass staff attention to the contents of their own newspaper.  Wow!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh HATE! I knew you'd raise your ugly head at some point. More and more people have no time for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      A Caymanian child did get free heart surgery sometime ago courtesy of Dr. Shetty who arranged for her surgery in India.

      this lady seemed deserving for social consideration due to her circumstances and I am glad Dr Shetty sought to help in this way.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Happy news! Much blessings to the medical team and to this mother. 

  3. anon. says:

    I'm so glad this hospital and its amazing team is here. I wish the venture boundless success.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That makes it 2 good news within 7 days for the Cayman Islands.  Cayman you are blessed. October is beginning to look good.

  5. Anonyanmous says:

    Thanks Health City may you continue to grow and prosper.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful to read this morning! Way to go Cayman Islands Health City.

  7. UHUHUH` says:

    What a wonderful story! I wish I could have been at her home when she returned to see the joy and love in the faces of her family! Especially the look on the face of her little girl!

    Let us all be followers of the teachings of a loving God whose love is unfailing and who will shower us with blessings if we will all strive to love one another and help those who are needy


  8. Anonymous says:

    Praise The Lord! God bless all those that were involved. May she have a prosperous and healty life. Thank you Health City….. Happy to know that the surgery was done free of charge, very generous and humane.

    • Anonymous says:

      God had nothing to do with it, how about giving your earthly surgeon friend some credit who does not need a blessing from a fairy tale figure.

      • Anonymous says:

        Acutally, that's not what the surgeon in question says.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:59.Why don't you stop with the so called God hating,you and I both know that if you are facing death in the face (such as facing a possible head on car crash) ,you will be screaming  "Oh God" to that same fairy tale figure.

      • anon says:

        Thank you. She was suffering all these years while God did nothing, then Man steps in out of kindness and saves her life for free, and people turn around and give God credit. So silly!


      • Anonymous says:

        May God have mercy on your soul!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is a lovely and generous promotional story for Shetty Hospital and for the people of the Cayman Islands in general.  I am a blood donor and feel a special connection to these stories, since each heart operation requires some 10-12 units of blood from the HSA Blood Bank at GT Hospital.  Anyone who wants to help save lives should contact them to see if they qualify to donate and register as a donor.  It feels good to do so.  The HSA at this time should also critically review the perhaps out-dated candidate criteria to see if the donor pool can now be broadened.  We should do this in advance of the beds filling to avoid shortages at any of the private or public hospitals.  There are physical limits on how much and how frequently the existing donor pool can give, so the more, the merrier.

  10. Isaac says:

    Well done team Shetty!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great news! Well done Health City Cayman Islands. Youare delivering on your word.

    I'm also glad to see that our national airline, Cayman Airways, played a part.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations and thank you, thank you, thank you. With all the other crap in the media this is welcome news and a heartwarming story of generousity and kindness. Bless you all.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It's pleasant to read something positive in the news. Great job HCCI!

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is wonderful for the patient and great advertising for the hospital as they seek to make potential patients and insurance companies aware of their capabilities. I would be interested to know the all in cost compared to the cost of getting this operation in the U.S.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Health City.  This current government didn't want you here but thank God it worked out and your value is being proven over and over again.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow some positive news! How absolutely heart-warming to read stories such as this. Well done Cayman Islands!

  17. Anonymous says:

    One of the best things to happen to Cayman in recent years.  Thanks to Gene Thompson and Dr. Shetty.  A little compassion goes a long way and they will be blessed for their kindness.  With a Marketing professional like Shomari, I feel the hospital will be flourishing in the not too distant future as more and more people come to know if it.